The University of Nebraska Medical Center Simulation in Motion-Nebraska program will recognize a milestone on Tuesday, Jan. 15, when it conducts its 250th free training session.

UNMC will train volunteers in the Sutherland Fire and Rescue and the Hershey Volunteer Fire Department.

UNMC has trained 4,700 health professionals to date, covering 87 of 93 Nebraska counties, a spokeswoman said.

UNMC officials will present a plaque to recognize the 250th milestone.

Training will begin at 6 p.m. and could last up to three hours. The UNMC trainers will be paramedic Robby Rhembrandt, and nurse Kelsey Miller.

SIM-NE is a statewide, mobile education system that provides state-of-the-art, hands-on training to emergency medical service providers in rural areas across the state.

SIM-NE provides the training at no cost, using four, 44-foot-long, customized trucks that supply mobile, real-life experiences designed to enhance lifesaving skills for those in rural areas.

SIM-NE’s four trucks were launched in June 2017 and stationed in Scottsbluff, Norfolk, Kearney and Lincoln.

Rather than having learners travel to larger cities, the trucks travel to communities. This also allows team-based training, as learners train side-by-side with people they normally work with during a response.

“As a resource for the state of Nebraska, the University of Nebraska Medical Center celebrates this milestone that supports Nebraska’s rural emergency medical services,” said UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D. “These services provide state-of-the-art education and training at no cost, which contributes to the health and economy of this great state.”

Paul Paulman, M.D., a native of Sutherland, said the training programs benefit first responders and others across Nebraska. Paulman is assistant dean for clinical skills and quality at UNMC and principal investigator of the grant that established SIM-NE in Nebraska.

The customized trucks feature dual slide-out room extensions, a simulated emergency room and ambulance, a control room, as well as high-tech, computerized patient simulators that talk, breathe, have heartbeats, and can react to medications and other actions of the learners.

Each mobile unit is equipped to recreate a realistic environment for learners, including medical supplies, pre-programmed computerized medical and trauma scenarios; monitors that display vital signs of patient simulators; heart monitors/defibrillators; audio and video recording/playback capabilities and mock drugs.

SIM-NE was initially funded with a $5.5 million grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. The funding supported four SIM trucks, equipment, patient simulators, supplies and operational expenses for the first three years. Partners and funders are being sought to sustain the program.

Rural emergency medical service agencies and critical access hospitals can request training at www.unmc.edu/SIM-NE.

For more information, email sim-ne@unmc.edu or call (402) 559-4863.